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Home Prices in West Continue to Outperform

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U.S. home values again escalated, with some pockets seeing stronger growth. Price gains on the West Coast continue to lead the nation.

The 20-City Case-Shiller
Home Price Index
was 195.39 in March, the most-recent month for which home value data is available.

Home prices, based on the 20-city index, were 1 percent higher than in February. Compared to the a year earlier, they were up 5.9 percent.

S&P Dow Jones Indices and CoreLogic Inc. reported the most-recent data Tuesday.

The latest 20-city index still stands 5 percent short of its July 2006 peak. Compared to the March 2012 low, prices have ascended 46 percent.

“Over the last year, analysts suggested that one factor pushing prices higher was the unusually low inventory of homes for sale. People are staying in their homes longer rather than selling and trading up,” David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in the report.

Among the 20 cities tracked, Seattle prices were up from March 2016 more than any other city: 12.3 percent. Portland followed at 9.2 percent, then 8.6 percent in Dallas, 8.4 percent in Denver and 7.7 percent in Boston.

Seattle also led the month-over-month gain at 2.6 percent.

The HPI from the Federal Housing Finance Agency reflects prices on purchase-money mortgages sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which FHFA regulates.

In March, FHFA’s index was 246.2, inching up 0.6 percent from a month earlier and climbing 6.2 percent from a year earlier.

Compared to February, prices rose 1.4 percent in the Pacific region, the most appreciation of nine regions tracked. A 1 percent gain was recorded for both the East North Central and and South Atlantic. An 0.6 percent decline in the Middle Atlantic was the worst performing region.

From March 2016 to March 2017, home prices jumped 7.9 percent in the Pacific region, also giving the area the biggest year-over-year increase.

The
CoreLogic HPI indicates that March 2017’s values were 7.1 percent higher than the same month a year ago. Compared to February 2017, prices increased 1.6 percent.

CoreLogic estimates that home prices were up 0.6 percent between March and April. By March 2018, CoreLogic predicts U.S. home prices will rise another 4.9 percent.

“A potent mix of strong job gains, household formation, population growth and still attractive mortgage rates in the face of tight inventories are fueling a continuing surge in home prices across the U.S.,” CoreLogic President and Chief Executive Officer Frank Martell said in the report. “Price gains were broad-based with 90 percent of metropolitan areas posting year-over-year gains.”

At $272,000, home prices in the Black Knight HPI were higher than any other time on record. Prices were 1.3 percent higher than in February and 5.8 percent above March 2016.

Black Knight said prices are 36 percent above their January 2012 trough.

In Washington, prices rose 2.2 percent from the preceding month — the most of any state. Next was was Nebraska’s 1.9 percent, then 1.7 percent in Michigan, Oregon, Georgia, Colorado and Illinois.

No month-over-month gain in West Virginia was the weakest home-price performance.

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